Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology


Throughout all of human history, people have built shelters for themselves whenever they stop for more than a few minutes. Many of these structures, built from wood and brush, are today colloquially known as wickiups. Wickiups are temporary housing structures, but were sometimes used for longer duration or even winter stays. In the Great Basin and surrounding montane West, we have a surprising amount of still standing wickiups. These have yet to fall to time's ravages and were initially built within the last several hundred years. Older sites, those around the world and deep into time, no longer have the wickiup structures; they are left with only the non-perishable evidence of human habitation. Using the knowledge of site structure accrued over the past half-century by archaeologists, we can establish a relationship between the locations of these non-perishables, to the location of the perishable wickiup. By using this signature, that is, the known relationship in site structure between the artifacts and housing structure, we can better direct archaeological method. In this way, we can move beyond the ubiquitous lithic scatter of the Deseret West, and see the rest of the site beyond the obvious artifact density areas to complete the picture of the past.

Included in

Anthropology Commons



Faculty Mentor

Steven R. Simms